It wasn't too long ago when sending your child to kindergarten simply meant packing his favorite sandwich in a shiny new lunchbox and dropping him off at the neighborhood school. Or if money wasn't an issue, enrolling him in the local parochial school. Educational options were simple and straightforward.
For some, that might still be the case, but today many parents face a complex educational landscape. Issues such as academic quality, curriculum focus, bullying and sexual harassment, competitiveness and overachievement, and even politics are increasingly affecting parents' educational decisions.
Angelina Arrington is an educational consultant and founder of Academic Savvy in Los Angeles, which provides services for K–12 families. Before consulting, Arrington worked more than 20 years as an administrator and teacher in both public and private schools. She has learned that a variety of factors impact educational choices.
"College is becoming so much more competitive, and that has created a trickle-down effect for K–12. Secondly, there have been so many legislative budget cuts resulting in larger class sizes and fewer resources at schools. Parents are scrambling for alternative choices—magnet, charter, private, or homeschooling. Safety has also come to the national forefront: we are seeing some of the safest schools experience great tragedies," she says.